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/ December 6, 2013
Hackathon Sets Out Create A Better NYU Through Code

Don’t we all wish we could create a better NYU? You know, work together to make something awesome happen on our (lack of a) campus? Well, today at 4pm you can do just that at the Create a Better NYU Hackathon.

For those of you out there who may not know, a hackathon is kind of exactly what it sounds like. People come out and literally hack things with code and ideas. Most of them last for a long period of time, like one or two or three days straight. Sometimes even a week. That’s a lot and lot of coding and exhaustion and nerdiness.

The event will last 24 hours and has invited students, teachers, and alumni to join in to help build apps, websites, or data visualizations that can help NYU. Sounds like there will be some serious building and hacking going on. There will be, wait for it, food there as well! So, really, this event has everything. It will take place on the 3rd floor of Kimmel. You bring the brains, they bring the data.

Juan Felipe Beltran, senior at NYU Abu Dhabi, is the creator of the event, but had some help from fellow seniors Allison Everett, Emanuel Hahn, and Alec Foster. The idea began in Abu Dhabi with the founding of the Research and Development Committee. So when Beltran came to the city for his year abroad, he decided to bring the plan to life.

“NYU is an institution filled to the brim with talent,” Beltran wrote in an email. “We often hear complaints about the systems or lack of systems without the university – this is an opportunity to be the change you want to see happen. If you think you can design better ways to look at information, websites, or apps, come join us.”

They’re expecting about 80 programmers, designers and thinkers. This is the first year of the event, and the main goal is to get local talent involved to improve the community, and encourage administration to make data as available as possible.

A few weeks ago, the Create a Better NYU team hosted a fundraiser at Los Perros Locos in anticipation for the event. The event itself was hosted by the Student Net Alliance. The event hashtag will be #abetternyu, and it’s been getting some decent traction on social media. Hashtag NYU tweeted: “They say it themselves, and you just can’t argue: coders + designers + thinkers = BEST HACKATHON EVER!”

NYU also has some other great hack events. NYUHacks, the first annual student hackathon, took place this November. [email protected] hosts HackDays and HackNights on a regular basis. HackNY is one of New York’s biggest hack events and is organized by NYU and Columbia faculty.

So, if you code, or even if you don’t, come out to see what all of this hacking is about. You may end up seeing some of the first glimpses of the brighter future of NYU.

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